Lawyer Image

Joseph F. Kessler

Partner; Chair, Real Estate Group
Primary Office
1500 Market St., Suite 3500E
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Direct(215) 575-7198
Fax(215) 575-7200
457 Haddonfield Rd., Suite 700
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Direct(856) 675-1964
Fax(856) 663-8855


Madeline Natal
Direct(215) 575-7091

Joseph F. Kessler represents contractors, real estate developers, REITs, middle-market companies, public authorities, family-owned businesses, and non-profit corporations in matters of corporate governance, development, financing, construction, leasing, and sales of commercial real estate. Joe has also represented clients in eminent domain proceedings and real estate tax appeals for commercial property owners primarily in the City of Philadelphia. 

Joe has experience regarding health care facilities leasing, mixed-use projects, including student housing and parking projects, and green building principles. Joe represented the country’s largest title insurance underwriters with respect to title insurance law and complex real estate-related litigation. 

A committed alumnus of Saint Joseph’s University, Joe is a founding member of SJU’s Real Estate and Construction Alumni Advisory Board and is a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. He has been a guest lecturer at St. Joe’s for its real estate courses.

Representative Experience

  • Represented clients in over a billion dollars of acquisitions, sales or financings in 2017 and 2018. 
  • Formed and represents a private operating foundation in Bethlehem, PA to preserve Pennsylvania’s industrial history. 
  • Represented a national real estate investment trust in negotiation of a lease in a suburban mall for a health care facility and sale of shopping centers.
  • Represented the developer of Walnut Towers (8th & Walnut) in structuring a mixed use condominium project involving acquisition, zoning, condominium documents, refinance of bond financing and, development of air rights, including sale to joint venture for development of a medical office tower.
  • Represented the Camden County Improvement Authority in connection with the development of a parking center at Cooper Hospital and student housing project for Rutgers University in Camden, NJ.
  • Represents a local WBE general contractor in general corporate matters, as well as construction dispute resolution.
  • Represents the National Constitution Center in general corporate matters and  after handling all legal representation related to construction of the museum.
  • Represented an owner/developer of student housing in the acquisition of a $100M residential complex adjacent to the University of North Carolina.
  • Represented title insurance underwriters and insureds in complex real estate title litigation.
  • Represents and counsels $25M family owned real estate companies in generational planning, problem solving and all real estate activities.
  • Represented owners of single assets and portfolios of assets in successful real estate tax appeals.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Government Affairs Committee Member, General Building Contractors Association
  • Fellow in the Construction Lawyers Society of America, 2018
  • Legal Counsel, Saint Joseph’s University Veterans Entrepreneurial Jumpstart Program
  • Member, Saint Joseph's University Board of Trustees
  • Founding Board Member, Saint Joseph’s University Real Estate and Construction Alumni Advisory Board
  • Board Member, Coaches vs. Cancer
  • Former Chairman of the Board and President, Green Building United (formely Delaware Valley Green Building Council) 2015 and 2016 and Sponsorship Chair for Road to US Greenbuild 
  • Member, American Land Title Association (ALTA)
  • Member, Pennsylvania Land Title Association (PLTA)
  • Member, General Builders & Contractors Association

Speeches & Presentations

  • Author, "Construction Industry- Succession Planning Reality or Myth," Construction Today Magazine, Issue 3, 2019 (January 2020)
  • Planner, St. Joseph's University Real Estate and Construction Symposium - Philadelphia's Development and (Real Estate) Tax Revolution, Fall 2018 
  • Moderator, "Disclosure Mandates and Codes: Cities, States and Municipalities," Delaware Valley Green Building Council's 2015 Tri-State Sustainability Symposium, March 6, 2015.
  • Moderator, "Healthcare & Higher Education Summit: Incentives and Financial Resources for Sustainability," Delaware Valley Green Building Council, November 18, 2014.
  • Panelist, "National Constitution Center: Its History and Construction," National Association of College and University Attorneys Convention, June 20, 2013.
  • Moderator, "Transactions Outlook," RealShare Philadelphia, March 7, 2013.
  • Moderator, “What You Need to Know About the City’s New Zoning Code”.
  • Panelist, "Building the Capital Stack for Commercial Real Estate 2012".
  • Chairperson, Saint Joseph’s Real Estate and Construction Alumni Holiday Luncheon.
  • Title Insurance Law Symposiums.
  • Planner, Presenter, "Managing Clients’ Expectations in Volatile Market".

Professional Recognition

  • Recipient of the 2016 Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., Real Estate Leader of the Year Award presented by St. Joseph’s University on December 7, 2016.
  • Philadelphia Business Journal Leaders in the Law.
  • Super Lawyers, 2004 – 2020.
  • *"No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey." 

News / Events

Media Coverage


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Alternate Biographies




  • J.D., Villanova University School of Law, Law Review, 1982
  • B.A., summa cum laude, St. Joseph's University, 1979

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1982
  • New Jersey, 1982
  • United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1982
  • United States District Court District of New Jersey, 1982
  • United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit